On 19th January Ukrainians traditionally celebrate Epiphany. The popular name for Epiphany in Ukraine is Vodokhreshche (‘Blessing of Water’). This is the last feast of the so-called winter festivities cycle. Furthermore, it is one of only three occasions, where festive supper features an ancient dish kutia.
In addition to Epiphany, the cycle includes Christmas and New Year celebrations. Although the first and last feasts are religious, all three occasions contain many pre-Christian rituals and beliefs. These rituals are most evident on the eve of each feast. More specifically, – in the meals held on the occasion.
Probably, the most popular of them is Christmas Eve Supper. (See our book dedicated to this holiday, ‘Ukrainian Christmas Eve Supper‘.) Many know that the dishes served on the occasion include a pre-Christian dish, kutia. This is regarded as the most ancient dish known in Ukrainian cuisine. However, not many people know that kutia is also a part of dinners held on eves of ‘Old’ New Year and Epiphany. The three occasions, when kutia is served, were also named after it and include word ‘kutia’:
- Christmas Eve – 6 January – ‘Bahata Kutia’ (‘Rich Kutia’)
- ‘Old’ New Year Eve – 13 January – ‘Shchedra Kutia’ (‘Generous Kutia’)
- Epiphany Eve – 18 January – ‘Holodna Kutia’ (‘Hungry Kutia’)
We created an infographic about kutia and the three festive meals that feature this ancient dish. Hope, you find it interesting 🙂 .
Check out our other articles on kutia and Tradition on a Plate series :